Wow… an embarrassingly long amount of time has past since my last post. My plate has been rather full this semester and I definitely felt it!
For the past couple of months a question has been on my mind: “What’s Next?” Let me try to explain what I mean… Every student in our student ministry, in your small group on Wednesdays, and in your Sunday School class is at a different place in their spiritual walk. Some students may be in the Word semi-regularly and are striving to grow closer to Jesus. Other students may be content with coming to church once a month and gleaning a few nuggets of spiritual truth. You may have one that would do perfectly well preaching the message next Wednesday, but another that refuses to pray in front of another person.
I have come under conviction that I can’t push every student to the same goal right away. Some students will never share their testimony after camp in front of 500 people. Instead of having the same expectation for every student, we should instead look at each student individually and ask the Holy Spirit to show us “What’s Next for him/her?” Maybe the next step for little Johnny in his commitment to Christ is to bring his Bible consistently. Maybe sweet little Sally’s next step of commitment is to step out of her comfort zone on a Wednesday and sit by a visitor.
The only issue with this approach is that we must first KNOW our students. We can’t know what the next spiritual step for them is until we know where they are now. We have to spend time getting to know their personality, their gifts, their fears, their talents, their interests.
So Central’s Student Ministry Staff (and any other youth workers that may find themselves here), let me encourage you to a) get to know your students, b) ask God “What’s Next” for this student’s walk with you?, and c) lead each student to where God wants them, not where we expect them to be.